Skip to main content

About this Show

Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING
PG

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Boehner 10, Eliot 8, Us 7, Susan Rice 6, Citi 4, Robert Reich 4, U.n. 3, United States 3, John Boehner 3, Defazio 3, U.s. 3, Egypt 2, New York 2, Lysol 2, Tom Cole 2, Raul Grijalva 2, Mr. Blankfein 2, Grover Norquist 2, Lloyd Blankfein 2, Israel 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.   
   (2012)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 28, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00pm PST  

8:00pm
room. check us out on line at current.com/thewarroom. you can check out our exclusive web extras. thanks for joining us here. we'll see you back tomorrow night. ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." on this show we prefer to call it the fiscal cliff or the austerity bomb. either way the country is just 34 days away from the mix of hundreds of billions of dollars with expireing tax cuts. the president called on voters though pressure congress for a deal that would freeze taxes for 911%98% of for american families.
8:01pm
>> call members of congress, write them, e-mail, post it on their facebook wall. tweet it by using the hash tag "my 2 k." >> if the latest "washington post" "abc news" poll is correct, the 06% 60% said they supported, and oklahoma congressman tom cole told politico last night i quote i think we ought to take the 98% deal right now. it doesn't mean that i agree with raising the top two i don't. but house speaker john boehner disagreed with that call. >> i told him that i disagreed
8:02pm
with him. >> eliot: he seemed more interesting in attacking the president than finding common ground. >> as the speaker said we have done our part. we have pup revenue on the table. we have not seen any good faith effort on the part of this administration to talk about the real problem that we're trying to fix. >> eliot: the finger pointing and the slow-moving talk seems to be causing anxiety for some of the ceo who is met with the president to discuss the country's fiscal mess. david cote had this to say. >> i can only be hopeful there is more going on behind the scenes than we're aware of or than we're being told. otherwise it's very scary. we could very well be going off the fiscal cliff. >> eliot: another ceo who was in that meeting lloyd blankfein told cnn under the right circumstances he could raise taxes on the upper 2%.
8:03pm
>> if that's what it took to make the math work, when you look at the entitlement side and the revenue side, i wouldn't preclude that. >> let's go to peter defazio congressman, thank you for joining us. >> thanks, i appreciate the opportunity. >> eliot: you're one of the so-called cliff jumpers. you want to dive over the cliff and say, you know what, it's not going to be so terrible. let's negotiate this patiently. >> it's not such a big fall, so i'm not that brave. the point is the only tax difference people will see on january 1st is the social security holiday goes away. it was a dumb idea and no one is talking about extending that. the other tax cuts, particularly those targeting people at the top, those won't show up in anybody's paycheck for an indefinite period. we would have too to revisit this issue. the second thing that is good
8:04pm
about it, all the clinton era tax breaks come back. do you remember the clinton era 3.8 unemployment, not bad. job creators were paying more in taxes. good ol' days, i think. republicans say bad 'ol days because they never supported the clinton era tax breaks. that's the reality. we would have time to put in place target relief for middle income teams who need it. and republicans would be freed from this pledge with grover norquist. no longer would they be voting to increase taxes. we would be giving them limited opportunities to vote to cut taxes for middle income, working families and others who need it and deserve it. unfortunately, they wouldn't get the vote on restoring the bush-era rates for millionaires and billionaires for a total of
8:05pm
dividends down to 15% or even back to the capital gains rates of clinton era or maybe back to the reagan era. we could talk about significant revenues that would not impact or hurt 98% of the people in this country. >> eliot: i think your logic is impeccable. i'm one of those saying for a long time let them expire. our hand only gets stronger as we go forwards january 1 and after. after january 15th, you can retroactively fix anything done between the expiration and the date that you pass a new bill. it's not as though these changes are permanent, and beyond correction by congress. >> in fact, the irs said they couldn't get new withholding tables for the new tax rate before march. we have month or two months in there to put in place targeted relief. we also--there is nothing set in stone about these stupid across the board cuts where you cut
8:06pm
programs as programs they think we should get rid of. no we're not doing that. we'll get our hands dirty and make targeted cuts and target spending. i would like to get out of afghanistan and save that money. they're not ready for that yet. >> eliot: i agree with you that. tom cole has come out and said, let's just embrace what the president has offered and extend the tax cuts only for the 98% and lit the 2% pay a little bit more. how many like-minded recommendation are there? is there enough to get them to forge a coalition with the democrats to get this through the house if it never reached the floor for a vote. >> remember unfortunately we're dealing with the present congress, not the new congress. it's a lame duck. some of the worst tea party republicans who lost their races still get to vote until january 3rd. this is a more difficult
8:07pm
congress for speaker boehner to rally votes. but if that were the deal, the simple thing we're going to extend the middle class tax cuts and deal with the restitution of it after january 1st, including the is he questions trace, i think you would get a lot of democratic votes. >> eliot: after january 1, do you think there would be a core that would agree with your analysis that you can cobble together 218 on both sides of the aisle? >> well, we picked up wins not certain yet one race--but we picked up about 12 seats. so their margin is smaller. some of their most radical members have departed for the great beyond after congress. i think speaker boehner has shown some inclination to want to approach these issues in a more moderate way and his right hand man mr. canter who pulls
8:08pm
the plug on reasonable talks on revenue previously has been quiet or supportive. >> eliot: quickly with respect to the social security, payroll tax, what do you see as the future of the payroll tax cut? should it be-- >> we put it in jeopardy by lowering that tax. restore the tax. then the other thing we need to do is make social security forever. simple. i've got a bill that's been scored by the actuaries that say people will pay social security income over $250,000. that applies to mr. blankfein who is talking about those senior who is have to tighten their belts. >> eliot: mr. blankfein is a grinch this year. i got it on good authority you were the co-chair of the congressional small brewery caucus. what is your favorite small brewery? >> well, you know, it would have
8:09pm
to go state by state brooklyn is pretty darn good in new york. where you're from. but out in oregon i would hesitate. we have so many. >> eliot: all right, i don't want to cause you political trouble to pick one of the many but i'm glad to hear we have some out here. >> they make good beer. >> eliot: congressman defazio thank you for your wisdom tonight. >> thank you. >> eliot: as i mentioned earlier, president obama met with a second group of ceos to talk about the so-called his co-cliff. among them mary kay henry internationale president of the service employees international union, the seiu, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> eliot: is this cliff we prefer to call it a slope on this show, is it being overrated? is there hysteria being created to get a compromise around the wrong issues? >> yes, i completely agree with your discussion that you just had with congressman defazio.
8:10pm
this conversation needs to be how increased revenue helps us spur economic recovery by getting americans back to work, and job creation has to be our number one priority. this discussion of cuts to programs that elders count on in our country we need to get off this table so we can focus on a robust economic recovery once and for all. >> eliot: i'm one that agrees that down the road in the long term maybe even in the medium term we've got tough issues we got to deal with. >> yes. >> eliot: but right now we have a crisis of job creation. it's a growth crisis. look at europe and understand that you embrace austerity as an answer you push yourself further and further into the abyss. i'm mystified by the willingness of the white house to participate in what i think is a mischaracterization of the debate. why don't they just say jobs is all that matters now? >> well, i thought the president on thursday after the election made an incredible contribution to the debate by saying the
8:11pm
wealthiest americans need to pay their fair share and we can't link that question of revenue to spending cuts. i thought that was an important step towards where you are headed, which is that that revenue needs to get invested in jobs. he has talked about the american jobs act roads, bridges, schools. there is lots of work that needs doing in this country and there are plenty of people who want to get back to work, get money in their pockets, and help begin accelerate the economic recovery recovery. >> eliot: people are unemployed. there is capital on the side line. there are projects that need to be built. we're not bringing the pieces together to bring the economy back where it should be. it's hard to watch the slow motion grind not discussing the issues. what about the discussion of the cap that has been etched into stone, and i'm not sure why. >> i think because there has been so much of a focus on letting the bush tax cuts expire
8:12pm
for the top two percent and the discussions got narrowed to that. it has left us in the trillion dollar area as opposed to looking at real corporate tax reform and other ways that revenue can be generated. it looked like congressman defazio was paining a picture of how we can confront that early next year. >> eliot: he's one of our favorites. i don't think he speaks yet unfortunately for the mainstream, i wish he did. >> right. >> eliot: i don't think he does, but i think it's interesting when you hear what eric cantor says and even john boehner. they still will not discuss raising rates. they're willing to go there the charade of loophole closing and this and that, but none of which gets us where we need to be. >> right. it is amazeing to watch how they are unwilling to listen to what voters said on november 6th, and what poll after poll that's been released since makes clear what the american people expect of our government. that we want a government that
8:13pm
is going to have everybody pay their fair share get us back to work and grow the economy from the middle out. >> eliot: what does the seiu plan og done going forward to frame the debate public communication, organizing, what is your agenda. >> we kept our ground game active. we have 44 congressional offices along with partners and community partners, together with 150 offices on november 8th. we have 100 leaders here at capitol hill doing visits with teachers and public service workers from all across the country. next we continue to do more action in the home district. we just followed the president's lead today to push out the hash tag "my 2 k" idea on twitter and e-mail. we're doing lots of education of our members and trying to calm everybody down about--that the
8:14pm
cliff is really a slope and we need to call on congress to pass the tax cuts now. >> eliot: there is one other issue hanging out there the debt ceiling. when the president said to john boehner, look, you got to deal with this now. he said there is a price for everything. i'm fearful of a replay of last year where you cut a compromise on the budget and then by the way we're not voting to raise the debt ceiling. i think the president needs to hang tough and say do the debt ceiling now or we don't talk. >> speaker boehner needs to adjust to the current dynamic in the country. the nation has spoken. we had a long presidential debate and now he needs to act on the will of the majority in the country. >> eliot: that is great. mary kay henry thank you for coming on the
8:15pm
when alea was born i definitely was not prepared. i just asked myself, "am i doing all that i can, am i doing the best that i can for her?" my whole family was so thrilled and so excited. it was just the start of a wonderful journey. i feel lucky every single day that i have my parents, i have my grandparents and that alea has grandparents and great-grandparents. sometimes they'll joke around and they'll say, " how's our baby, how's our baby?" and she's almost like this collective family baby. the fact that all of these generations can live together happily and get to know each other and learn from each other is really incredible. my mom was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when she was 15. when she was first diagnosed they didn't even have any blood sugar monitor. people really didn't know what the future would hold for her but now, today, there are so many resources available to her.
8:16pm
she has all these technological devices to help her stay healthy. >> it's sunny out. >> it is sunny out. since alea was born, i almost feel more responsible for making the world a better place. we all have the ability to make it better for ourselves and for our children. >> brought to you by roche, the maker of the new accu-chek nano blood glucose meter.
8:17pm
before the sneeze, help protect with a spray. before the tissue, help defend with a wipe. before the cold & flu season help prevent with lysol. because when you have 10 times more protection with each hand wash... and kill 99.9% of germs around the house with each spray... those healthy habits start to add up. this season, a good offense is the best defense and lysol has your family covered because that's our mission for health.
8:18pm
>> eliot: in the last election republicans got roundly panned as the party of angry old white men. 71% of hispanic voters chose president obama. so did 93% of african-americans and 55% of female voters. so you would think that republicans would finally reach out to women and minorities, but you would be wrong. that brings us to the number of the day zero. that's the number of women or people of color who will chair a
8:19pm
committee in the house of representatives next year. some how out of 19 chairmanships every single one had to go to some old or middle aged white guy. look at some of the new committee leaders. jeb hensarling on financial services, ed royce on foreign affairs. mike mccaul on homeland security. and lamar smith who still doesn't thing climate change is caused by human behavior, and now he's in charge of, wow the science committee. you could find more divererererererererererererererererererererererererererererer >> eliot: how do you convention millions of americans to impose a tax increase that will have no impact on them or their friends. some how the g.o.p. has managed to do it president obama's proposed tax increase on the
8:20pm
wealthiest 2% of americans would affect 4 million households. they're predominately in areas like south florida major cities like new york, francisco and los angeles, all traditionally democratic enclaves. those who are won't pay the taxes oppose them, and those who will support it. here with me, robert reich at u uc berkeley's goldman school of policies. is this politics that goes back to what is the matter with kansas book a few years back. they would really not be affected by the tax increase that they want us to go through. >> it is one of the great ironies. it has to do with the big lie. if you tell the big lie over and over again people start believing it. and one of the lies that republicans have been telling
8:21pm
for year is the lie of trickle down economics. the wealthy are job creators. if you tax them you'll have fewer jobs, fewer--less income over all. it's obviously a lie. it has proven to be a lie. if you tell it again over and over again at least enough people begin believing it in red states. people who are not at all wealthy that it has some heft. the other thing that republicans have been spreading the word about or trying to convince people about who are not going to be affected by this tax increase are the camel's head under the tent philosophy. if you let taxes go up on the rich eventually taxes will go up on everybody else. it means more big government and big government is your enemy. this is obviously not the truth. in red states you've got many more people who are dependent on federal programs like medicaid
8:22pm
food stamps and every safety net. nonetheless republicans have prevailed in creating a fear among many people who are--in fact, many people in the middle class whose incomes have been stagnant for year that they will be taxed eventually if the rich are taxed now. >> eliot: i think you're right there is a misunderstanding of who bears the burdens and what the consequences are and in states where there is greater dependence and consumption of the goods who would be caught if the republican agenda were implemented. it frustrateing but doesn't solve the problem. the one you started with, the job creators, is the at the the heart of this. you're an economist, is there any connection between tax killing jobs and hurting the economy. >> no, this is widespread among
8:23pm
people who don't understand or believe the truth. the reality is this eliot there is no correlation at all between raising taxes on the rich and slowing the economy. in fact, if anything it's just the reverse. between the second world war and 1981 when tax rates were never below 70%. the highest tax rate was above 70%, we had a faster average annual growth rate in this country than we've had since. bill clinton in the 1990s raise the taxes. raised the highest marginal tax rate and did better in terms of the economy job creation, economic growth, and economic performance by every measure than the years after george w. bush reduced the highest marginal tax rates. the evidence seems to point in the opposite direction, higher taxes on the wealthy help the economy, and don't hurt the economy. >> eliot: that is exactly the point that warren buffet has made over and over again. the preeminent investor over the
8:24pm
years. he said i'm a capitalist. i want to make money. listen to robert reich. from an ideological point of view it seems to me from the inception of the republican party they want to cut taxes cut taxes this has been an effort to starve the beast. to say that there is no money for government, and you must cut the agenda. that seemed to be the agenda from the early reagan revolution revolution. >> david stockman came up with the phrase, starve the beast. he understood if you go deeper and deeper into debt and reduce tax rates in particularly on the wealthy, at the same time everybody else is just getting by the minimum wage became stagnant in the 80s. the middle class paid less taxes and the wealthy paid less taxes because the tax rates went down. when you have that combination the government will have fewer
8:25pm
revenues. at the same time ronald reagan undertook a military ke keyenianism. and at the end of the bush administration we basically took what was a surplus that bill clinton generated for the george w. bush administration, and turned it into a huge deficit. >> eliot: yes, look, that is a perfect articulation of what has happened over the past 20 years economically. david stockman is still telling the truth about what the true intent was all the way through. quickly, fix the deficit co-alation trying to use what they're creating, the emotional crisis they're creating, and in argument to lower their own corporate taxes once again.
8:26pm
does that make sense to you? >> big corporations are sitting on almost 2 trillion-dollar of cash they don't know what to do with. the idea that they some how need more cash is absurd. the ceos, what they want for themselves instead of $8 million or $10 million in cash or in compensation they like more compensation. it has nothing to do with the welfare of the economy over all. >> eliot: former u.s. labor secretary robert reich and my nominee for u.s. treasure secretary, "beyond outrage" robert reich as always, thanks. >> thanks, eliot. >> eliot: turning to weather
8:27pm
8:28pm
8:29pm
>> eliot: still to come, the man who crashed the stock market by going on tv, congressman raul grijalva. but first very special fox news alert biological o'reilly talks begangangnam style.
8:30pm
>> grover norquist. [ thunder ] >> the two most terrifying words that a republican can hear other than buenos dias. >> how do you deal with guys who come to stop government with grover wondering wandering the earth in his white bathrobe, he's getting in the bathtub and i hope he slips in it. >> i'll put every penny in it, you want to come along. when you say how much tax do i have to pay when i make a fortune. >> the first thing i would say why are you calling me. >> dwight from the office is nothing. the office gives nothing. if you watch the office, don't watch the office. it's filth. [ speaking spanish ]
8:31pm
>> i woke up this morning and took a shower. i looked down i still had to put a bra on. >> that's a good point. >> fox news alert. >> that was a new alert. scared me a little bit. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> hum, do you remember the pony? he's just doing the pony. i mean, the pony. >> the pony. >> i think what this fella is tapping into is, in fact this psy, p-s-y he's tapping into the fact that people don't want any meaning right now. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> now some would say put the in the jar of the pe pee-pee.
8:32pm
i prefer to call this flo-bama. >> eliot: thank you glenn. that was terrible. they say he single-handedly rich, chewy caramel rolled up in smooth milk chocolate. don't forget about that payroll meeting. rolo.get your smooth on. also in minis.
8:33pm
8:34pm
>> eliot: today in financial news the dow climbed over 100 points. yesterday it lost nearly 90 points. some would look at these numbers and see ordinary volatility, trading within a 1% range up or down. others notably mindless mindless c nbc apingers who rarely know what is going on in the markets decide to make foolish claims. >> as we're talking the market is selling off once again. every time members of congress come on, and i got to tell you sir, i think you're contributing to the fears that we're going
8:35pm
off the fiscal cliff because it doesn't sound like there is compromise in what you're saying saying. >> eliot: high lyleing the foolishness of the commentary this afternoon peter welch continues to encourage us to dive over the fiscal cliff and this is after congress mega congressman go halfraulgrijalva, thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. i'm--i was astounded by the credit that i was given to me by the people that were questioning me on c nbc, but you know, i'm glad that they saved the market the next day. >> eliot: i'm glad to meet the person who can control the market unilaterally, and i'll
8:36pm
call to see which way you're going to move the market on any given day. >> one of my friends in congress asked me, the next time you make those comments, call me ahead of time so i can sell early. >> eliot: one of the best ways to make money. putting that all aside there seems to be some vast effort to create this almost hysteria that if we don't fix this issue right now, the economy will go into a cataclysm, and it seems to me that we're not talking about the issues that we should be talking about. the issues you want to talk about, citizen job creation. >> hysteria is a great word. the drum beat is over and over again. today's ceos were visiting the administration congressional leadership under the auspices of the non-profit, so they were able to write off all of their expenses on this trip which i find ironic to say the least. in doing so, they're talking about austerity social security security, pension, medicare,
8:37pm
medicaid and that if we don't do that, everything in this country is going to fall apart. that's complete hypocrisy, and a lie. what we need to be talking about, and it has to be part of any package of investment, is jobs. the federal government's direct role in creating jobs for the american people. get people working. people start paying things. they feel secure disposable income and the real trickle down then begins in our economy. to avoid that issue and create this other hysteria is a disservice to the people who need work and creates anxiety among retired people about the benefits they've earned being in jeopardy. i think that's completely wrong. >> eliot: the ceos are coming down blanketing the media spreading their campaign contributions around, they are down there marketing a tax cut for their own businesses. it's almost a trojan horse. oh my goodness deficit deficit
8:38pm
deficit, fix the tax code, and what are they proposing lowering their own taxes. it's a sham and they ought to be rolled out of town if people understand what they were talking about. >> if people are worried about how they're going to take care of the homeless, how schools will be able to accommodate 30 kids in the class rom how people will be able to make ends meet when unemployment disappears. they can't be here. they can't afford it. they come here and write it off in their taxes $20 million a year ceos from these corporations, and continue to spread the hysteria and--and if their plan goes through the austerity plan, they and their company and their bonuses are actually the only thing that is going to improve in this economy. >> eliot: as they have over the past couple of years.
8:39pm
income disparity is worse and worse and incomes are going up. lloyd blankfein telling people that they people should not expect to work for 25 years and then retire for 30. i don't think he understands what social security is all about. the hispanic caucus said no today on a republican version. >> we support stem visas. we think it's important to retain those young men and women women. the problem is they want to rob peter to pay paul. it keeps more and more families from being able to be unified in this country and it limits other portions of people who legitimately want to immigrate to this country from being able
8:40pm
to. you're taking the cream of the crop, and extended more visas that's fine. we have no problem. but those people who are coming here for opportunity, to work hard, maybe don't have the credential, we take the visa opportunity away from them in order to extend it to someone else. it's not right and it's not just or fair, that's why we're opposed to it. >> eliot: the only good news, and again i don't want to be pollyanna-ish the republicans are singing a different tune on immigration. they have to after the election. they understand the numbers. they saw they got whooped because of their incapacity to reach out to anybody basically other than angry old white man. do you think some compromise can be reached in the new year on immigration issues? >> yes, i do. today, announced it's 11 principles, and other caucuses will be help us, and other
8:41pm
members of congress will sign on to those. saying this needs to be part of comprehensive reform. security, family republican reunification the dream act and the path to legalization. now that the republican party and republican leadership here has accepted reality if they want to continue to be the naysayers on immigration continue to be the point of opposition continue the hard rhetoric, what they saw in this election is destined to be the pattern from now on. i think it's--if it's a political consideration in which they're changing their tune, i'm okay with it because at this point we need to talk, and we need to look for a solution. we're more than willing to compromise, but we're not going to compromise on core issues like path to citizen citizenship. >> eliot: there is good news for all the reasons you laid out. congressman raul grijalva, thank you for your time.
8:42pm
>> you're welcome.
8:43pm
8:44pm
8:45pm
>> eliot: message to speaker boehner the debt ceiling is a fiscal responsibility, not a bargaining chip. that's ahead on my view. be sure to join jennifer granholm in the war room as she welcomes charlie pierce on the implication that the susan rice saga my have on the united states i want the people who watch our show, to be able to come away armed with the facts, and the arguments to feel confident in their positions. i want them to have the data and i want them to have the passion. >> eliot: hidden among all this talk of the fiscal cliff-austerity bomb being covered in horrendous and tedious detail by every cable
8:46pm
station is a potentially more dangerous accounting deadline. the debt ceiling. and yes this is deja vu all over again. but i have a solution for president obama this time around. mr. president, turn the tables on him speaker boehner that is. we all recall the trap that the white house fell into last year, letting negotiations over the potential government shutdown be concluded only to be held hostage again when the republicans then refused to raise the debt ceiling without getting additional concessions. it was as congressman welch said it was professional malpractice not to wrap the debt ceiling into the first round of negotiations. so don't do it again. the debt ceiling will necessarily and inevitably be hit and breached early next year. yet when president obama told speaker boehner at their november 16th meeting to raise the ceiling by year's end boehner said there is a price for everything. no, there doesn't have to be. sometimes what is necessary and
8:47pm
good policy should just be done. the ceiling will be breached because of the fiscal track we're on and agreeing to the expenditures and revenues that are now in place the debt ceiling will be exceeded because of the boehner's policies, policies that have driven revenues down well below historical norms and far below the expenditure levels of about 22% of gdp. never mind that speaker boehner called the debt ceiling his leverage and speaker boehner voted five times to during the bush presidency, to raise the ceiling to the tune of nearly 4 trillion-dollar. this time he wants the default by the government that he has a moral obligation to support the raising the debt ceiling now. so here is the offer the president should make.
8:48pm
i tolerated an unacceptable and improper effort by your house to extract concessions on an issue that should be a simple procedural vote. i will not do that again. i have made many offers, and you have not responded with anything tangible. unless you immediately raise the debt ceiling sufficiently to get us to january 1, 2015 based on current deficit projections we're ceasing all negotiations. i'm happy to have the bush tax cuts expire on january 1st, and then have you explain to the public that you have raised the taxes on all americans and you're playing games merely because you're unwilling to act responsibility. it is time to take the debt ceiling off the table as a negotiating ploy. time to call their bluff recognize that time is on our side and turn up the heat on the republican house leadership that has a weak hand. play hard ball, mr. president it feels good, and you will win.
8:49pm
[ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. buy now. save later.
8:50pm
8:51pm
>> eliot: republicans still can't get any satisfaction. at least when it comes to answers from u.n. ambassador susan rice about her role in the administration's response to the deadly attack on the american consulate in the bengahzi, libya. following their face-to-face with rice yesterday republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham and kelly ayotte announced they were more troubled than ever. >> i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign. >> eliot: but president obama stood up for rice today during his first post-election cabinet meeting when asked about the ambassador's reception on the hill. >> obama: sue an rice is extraordinary. couldn't be prouder of the job she's done at the usun.
8:52pm
>> joining me now is pj crowley who served under both presidents clinton and obama. he's now a professor at george washington university. thanks for your wisdom. >> hi, eliot. >> eliot: the reception that ambassador rice is getting on the hill is almost unprecedented unprecedented. i don't remember an u.s. diplomat being roughed up this way, is there a historical metaphor for this? >> not recently. i think in terms of the senate interfering, if you want to say that, you have to go back to john tower in 1989. i mean, politics is a contact sport, eliot. you know that as well as anybody. >> eliot: yes. >> i think this is just a gauntlet that susan rice is forced to go through as she works towards--demonstrates that she would be a fine and outstanding secretary of state.
8:53pm
>> eliot: it seems to me the legitimate questions that might be asked, who prepared the talking point? who changed the talking point as we understand it, perhaps to take out what the c.i.a. believed and what other intelligence sources believed indicating this was not just a spontaneous up rising or protest. those are legitimate questions, but they have nothing to do with susan rice and the disconnect just continues to mystify me that the media and the public seem to think that susan rice is a focal point almost venom more the republicans senate. >> she equates the appearance of a sunday show after the tragedy where four people were killed as a political appearance as opposed a senior leader of the administration trying to explain exactly what happened, and reflecting on the tragedy. i think it's a curious attack on susan rice today. but at the end of the day i think there will be answers to these questions. i certainly don't think that the
8:54pm
white house has been helpful to susan rice in the sense that yesterday she went up with the acting c.i.a. director to try to clarify who did what then only then to have an issue a clarification in the afternoon that she might have misis misspoken during the encounter with senator mccain and others. i'm confident as we go through the next couple of weeks there is a state department investigation that will be done by mid december, and that will put everything in context. >> eliot: as a trial lawyer one would not have looked at the meeting being anywhere near sufficient in clarifying. let's go to egypt where there are genuine foreign policy issues and contentions needing to be resolved. is he trying to rush this through too quickly? what do we know about what the document itself will look like, and whether or not it will be one that captures the democratic
8:55pm
principles that we hope that egypt moves forward with. >> there are loads of questions and you put your finger on many of them. let's be hopeful to suggest that this may be a marchbury versus madison moment in egypt. you have constitutions playing their role. president morsi has been fighting hard to make sure there is an effective executive. you have a judiciary who wants to display its independence. unfortunately you don't have a parliament dissolved by egypt's equivalent of the supreme court. i think there are very serious questions about this constitutional assembly, not so much formation but 25% of it reflects the religious minorities and women have walked out because they don't think their issues are being adequately addressed. i think first and for most, what kind of document emerges. how tolerant is that document, how much support there is in
8:56pm
terms from various segments of egyptian society, and what the judgment of the people will be when it's placed on a referendum. >> eliot: these are all serious issues and obviously we don't know what the answers are yet. you make a fascinating point when you go back to marbury v madison, we always pre-spoused there was three in the checks and balances, and there was no clear roll that we now take for granted, the same judgments that the egyptian courts say they should be entitled to make. we should not look so askance and we hope they get the right result. can we assert any aggression? >> i don't think so. i think the united states' tone has been appropriate regularring this is a tug-of-war among critical institutions to
8:57pm
the future of egypt as it moves towards a democracy. i think the united states has put down the right marker saying there should be genuine checks and balances and not invest too much power in any one institution of government. we'll have to see how this plays out. >> eliot: fascinating development in israel where the prime minister olmert said that he supports it. does that mean they're moving towards meaningful peace negotiations. >> there is an election coming up in israel. what has been missing in past elections is the peace center or left. as they formed a new party this week, if they're going to play that role, either can challenge the incumbent government or moderate its stance and try to see after the u.n. petition tomorrow with the palestinians
8:58pm
8:59pm